Illinois Falls Late to No. 7 Michigan State, 73-63
Jan. 16, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP)--Kalin Lucas shook off a slow start and scored 20 points, leading No. 7 Michigan State to a 73-63 victory over Illinois on Saturday.
The Spartans (15-3, 5-0 Big Ten) broke a first-place tie in the conference.
Demetri McCamey scored 15 points for the Fighting Illini (12-6, 4-1) and didn't get much help.
Lucas' first and only basket in the first half gave Michigan State its first lead 4 1/2 minutes before halftime and Illinois couldn't come back.
The Spartans closed the first half with an 18-5 run--taking a 36-29 lead-- and scored the first seven points after halftime.
Illinois pulled within eight, then Lucas took over with six straight points and a three-point play that put the Spartans up 54-35.
The Illini cut their deficit to 11 with 2 1/2 minutes left, then Lucas made a layup on the ensuing possession.
Michigan State's Delvon Roe scored 15 points and fouled out with 6:13 left in the game, while Raymar Morgan had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Draymond Green provided his usual spark for the Spartans off the bench with all-around play, adding seven points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Illinois has four players averaging at least 10 points, but didn't have a second player in double figures until Tyler Griffey made a 3-pointer late in the game. Griffey had 12 points and Mike Davis scored in the final seconds to finish with 11.
Illinois center Mike Tisdale was held to two points--11 fewer than he was averaging--and missed his only attempt from the field. D.J. Richardson missed all eight of his shots and finished with two points--nine less than his average.
The defending Big Ten champions limited Illinois to 35 percent shooting and overcame a rough start themselves offensively to finish at 44 percent from the field.
Illinois took control in the first minute of the game with McCamey's five points.
The Illini had some six-point leads, then the game started to slip away when Durrell Summers picked up a loose ball and scored on a dunk and Lucas ended his scoreless start with a free throw at the 8:18 mark of the first half.
Michigan State was in control for the rest of the game and won its sixth straight and 10th of 11 since losing at North Carolina in a rematch of the national championship game.
The Illini, who were ranked as high as No. 20 this season, were off to a 4-0 start in the Big Ten for the first time since 2005.